TBT – what we found behind the mirror

We’re in the process of restoring a medicine cabinet we found in the cellar. We believe it to be original to our 1895 house. It was covered in paint (of course) and it’s been an on and off project for a while now. Fining this little cabinet in the cellar was such a sweet little find. But years later, we’re still being surprised by what it holds.

Here it is, with the door removed.


And this is what we found behind the mirror. It was being used as the backing inside the door.


A little bit of googling got me to this place: a one screen theater built before WWI. Its most distinctive feature was a retractable roof that would let in cooler air on summer nights. By the 1950s, it was already dilapidated and was eventually demolished.

It was across the street from the much fancier Loews 46th St. While it technically didn’t meet the wrecking ball, the building has been gutted and is being turned in to apartments. Very very bland apartments. 

Our house was a 3-family rental by 1910. One of those early tenants was a “movie theater technician.” I always assumed that to mean a projectionist. Maybe that’s how that sign came to be? Some more googling and sure enough: there was a 1910 film called Ten Nights in a Bar Room. That would fit very conveniently into the timeline of residents that is beginning to emerge. But there was another film by the same name that came out in 1926. This one was produced by the Colored Players of Philadelphia.

Here is a clip:

Either way, it’s another fun and tangible bit of history of the house. It’s definitely getting framed and displayed.

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